Traffic Mitigation Plan and Peer Review Summary & November 18, 2020 PB Meeting Recap


Hillwood released their traffic mitigation plan, as well as the peer review of their traffic study. In this blog, a member from SaveHudsonNH has taken the time to summarize Hillwood's traffic study, SaveHudsonNH's consultants peer review, and the planning board meeting on November 18, 2020. To view all the studies please click the links at the end of this post.




Hillwood Traffic Presentation


Traffic Volume:

  • Bldg A is first mile facility for distribution to other facilities (not last mile)

  • Bldg B is a last mile facility for large items like appliances. Low frequency.

  • Bldg C to be another non sort facility (but no tenant identified)

Traffic volume comparisons:

  • Stated it’s not the largest project in NH

  • Pheasant lane mall is 37k vehicles a day

  • Sam's Club generates >3000 a day

  • Sagamore park more trips ~4000 plan was up to 8k

Traffic volume basis for analysis:

  • 2057 vehicles in and out a day (includes employees)

  • Traffic is spread out over the day and outside of traffic peak hrs

  • 240 Tractor Trailer and 40 Box Trucks in plan vs estimated 150-200 TT and BT/day

  • Box truck activity offset from peak traffic

  • No (last mile) vans on the site

  • Unclear if potential Bldg C volume was included in the study

Roadway proposed change summary


Northbound

  • 2 Left turn lanes onto 3A from Green Meadow Drive (Mercury Systems)

  • Widen 3A to 3 lanes between Green Meadow Drive and Walmart Blvd (existing RT lane at Walmart converted to shared right turn/thru lane

  • 3 lanes between Walmart and Sagamore (one becomes a dedicated left turn onto sagamore)

  • 3rd left turn lanes onto the sagamore bridge

  • Wason intersection 2 right turn lanes (offered additional expansion of intersection if town wants to buy land from property owners)

Southbound

  • Widen Sagamore to Walmart to accommodate 3 thru lanes at Walmart intersection

  • Third thru lane from Walmart to Green Meadow (Mercury) becomes a right turn only lane into Green Meadow

  • Restripe 3A from Green meadow to Dracut to make 2 left turn lanes onto Dracut

  • Traffic signals will all be converted to adaptive signal control and incorporated into town signal system

Stated effect of roadway changes

  • Goal is to improve or maintain intersection wait times

  • Hillwood will fix existing traffic issues and accommodate added traffic by Amazon

  • Overall traffic will be improved and congestion will be reduced

  • Mercury intersection will increase in time

  • All other intersection wait times will go down

Misc Hillwood Statements during the planning board meeting:

  • Offered to the board to just build two buildings and see how it goes before the building the third bldg

  • Trucks won’t use local gas stations because they are slow; need high speed pumps (Irving is a truck stop)

  • TTs won’t use surface roads to come here

  • Driveway will be a private drive maintained by them

DOT

  • Held their feet to the fire; a lot of back and forth; final plan/analysis includes many requested changes

  • Validated trip generation

  • Used conservative numbers

  • Agreed with study

VHB Peer Reviewer

  • Also worked with Hillwood and comments were addressed

  • Trip generation model is relatively new since the distribution centers are new

  • Got info from the tenant and used the higher of the two estimates

  • Agrees with DOT. Agrees with study.

PB Members

  • Lane expansions are good but it just moves the congestion problem beyond the proposed intersections (where they have to merge)

  • Irving is a truck stop they will use it. Amazon rep responded they provide facilities for drivers to rest. Hillwood previously said they wouldn’t.

SaveHudsonNH Independent Peer Review (Transportation Engineering Planning and Policy LLC) Comments


The proposed road modifications:


Will create a more expansive travel-way:

  • Three through lanes per direction on select segments

  • Eight lanes total on the south leg of the Walmart Boulevard intersection

  • Nine lanes total on the north leg of the Walmart Boulevard intersection

  • Eight lanes total between on the south leg of the Sagamore Bridge Road intersection

  • Up to nine lanes on the south leg of the Flagstone Drive/Wason Road intersection

  • A triple left-turn lane on the northbound approach to the Sagamore Bridge Road intersection

Will result in more complex driving experiences (Many more lanes and signage)

Will not have overall benefit for bicycles or pedestrians

Increasing the number of lanes at signalized intersections may reduce efficiency by undesirably:

  • Increasing lost time due to signal-phase changes

  • Increasing the number of signal phases

  • Increasing pedestrian crossing times

  • Reducing lane utilization, particularly for triple left-turn lanes


SaveHudsonNH Member Opinions


  • Overall character of South Hudson will be impacted (massive roadway, increased signage, lighting, accidents, road rage, etc)

  • ·Significant traffic volume increase = more complex driving experiences = roadways won’t be used as efficiently as predicted.

  • Estimates do not account for ecommerce growth; the proposed facilities have the capacity for 10x (or more) than currently stated.

  • Building C could potentially be installed as a last mile facility, significantly increasing truck traffic.

  • A rosy picture is being painted to get approval. Once in place, operating and generating town revenue, changes can be incrementally introduced that may not get the same level of scrutiny as if it was part of the original plan.

  • There will be unassessed consequences of the traffic expansion. I.e. increased traffic volume on surrounding roadways both in Hudson and in surrounding towns.

  • The proposed roadway improvements just move the bottle necks further away from the key intersections discussed.

Links to Studies, PB Meeting, & Reviews:


https://www.hudsonnh.gov/bc-pb/page/traffic


https://mcusercontent.com/72da47b8c753b40f6ec9478d5/files/ce8d176e-5f28-4e5b-b3ff-ff28ec3a2bd5/2020_10_21_TEPP_Transportation_Engineering_Review.pdf


https://www.savehudsonnh.org/project-studies